Fictioneers – the brainchild behind this AR game – is a joint venture between three creative companies: Potato (digital product development studio), Sugar Creative (immersive innovation studio), and games developer Tiny Rebel Games. The trio have come together to create a series of immersive storytelling experiences in cities across the UK and USA.
Kickstarted in 2019, the collaboration between storytellers, designers, developers and media producers aimed to explore immersive experiences. With a series of apps in partnership with world-renown animation studio and creators of Wallace and Gromit, Aardman, they’re achieving their goal.
The initial concept was to create an interactive mobile-first story, that used a series of videos, interfaces, AR and voiceovers, called The Big Fix Up in Bristol. It allowed users to become part of Wallace and Gromit’s Spick & Spanners business and complete various tasks around the city. After the success of The Big Fix Up, the trio released a new app called Fix Up the City, offering a location-based experience in Cardiff, Bristol and San Francisco.
We’ve worked closely with the Fictioneers on Fix Up the City. By providing funding, we were able to help develop the bespoke experience for Cardiff Bay. We also facilitated access to planning and logistics teams and assisted with PR and promotion. With our support – as well as that of Cardiff City Council – the team were able to create the first full-scape bespoke interactive AR experience in a public space in the Cardiff Bay area.
So, what did the project involve? Although now closed, users could download the app from either the App Store or Google Play for free. Once downloaded, you were taken through the story so far. Your job was to help business tycoon Bernard Grubb get the city ready for his festival. You had help in the form of friendly AI, BERYL though. Your first task? To find Gromit, who’s gone for a walk.
It's not just Wallace and Gromit bringing the big names though, actors Miriam Margolyes and Jim Carter also provided the voices for characters within the app.
But how and why did all of this come about? Fictioneers wanted to find a new way of telling great stories but using all the rich technology available to us at the touch of a button (or tap of a phone screen). Having tried and failed to find a piece of tech that could do it, they decided to create it themselves to produce a complex storytelling program using multimedia and mixed reality.
The project reinforced the reputation of Wales as a leading region for innovation. The app used AR technology alongside newly emerging LIDAR scanning capabilities to create a bespoke experience for users. The goal was to showcase the development of city-scale AR interactive experiences and explore its successes and limitations, as well as its potential for future projects.
The project was a success. Combining the talents of multiple agencies and studios meant bringing together the best minds (and hands) in each of the different creative fields to produce something innovative, exciting, and not seen before – putting Wales at the forefront of innovation.
Want to hear more about the project? Here are three key successes:
- It generated an estimated media reach totalling 10.6M, including out-of-home advertising (OOH), digital and press
- It was able to showcase a variety of digital assets in trade shows and international conferences such as SXSW in Austin, Texas to demonstrate the innovative use of technology
- Each of the companies involved has created new business opportunities and grown their teams – increasing employment in and around the region